I love my church family. We just finished up a series called “Family Portrait” in which we talked a lot about what it means to be part of a spiritual family called a church. One of the things that seemed to resonate with a lot of people was the idea that unlike our biological families – this family is open to anyone. It’s a family that always has room for more. A family where anyone and everyone can join. At STORYCHURCH we’ve continually heard from our guests how warm and welcoming our church is for them. Many have talked about how they feel like they belong almost immediately. And that’s exactly as it should be.
But here’s the problem. The more that we grow, the more difficult it is to keep that “family” feel. And so one of two things is bound to happen. The first possibility is that we start to turn inward. We could start to see new people as a threat to the close family we love. We could start to turn toward the familiar relationships we already have and neglect the guest who happens to visit on a given Sunday. Unfortunately, many churches choose this route – intentionally or not, they choose it. Pretty soon the growth stops and the church begins to die.
But the second possibility is that as the church grows, we celebrate that the family is getting bigger. We rejoice that there are so many people in the family now that we can’t even know everyone. We look at every guest as an incredible addition to the family – enriching us and making us better.
I know that for me and for STORYCHURCH – we choose the second of those possibilities. Every time someone is baptized, every time a marriage is restored, every time a child begs to go back to church, we rejoice that the family is getting bigger, reaching further, and having greater impact than we could ever have on our own.
So STORYCHURCH, here’s what I’m asking you to do to help the family continue to grow:
Continue to invite. Ask your coworker, your neighbor, your grocery store checker. Then ask them again. This family has room for more. No matter how full it feels, we will always have room for more. Whether we have to change venues or add services – we will do whatever it takes to let the family grow. Here’s a few things you can do to invite:
- Keep a few cards handy. We have business cards available to you at the welcome table with all the information someone would need to take a look at STORYCHURCH. Keep them in your wallet or purse. Hand them out at work. Leave them with a nice tip at a restaurant.
- Use Social Media. Make sure you’ve “liked” us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Whenever STORYCHURCH posts, retweet or share. Whenever you serve, post something about it like this — “Excited to serve at STORYCHURCH today! I’ll be greeting at the door, come and say hi!” Every time we get mentioned online it helps us become more visible to people searching for a family like ours.
- If you have a blog – put a link to our church site on it.
- Whenever you get our weekly emails, share them online, “like” them, forward them to a friend.
Treat every Sunday like a family gathering and you are the host. If a guest was in your house, you’d welcome them, offer them food, show them the restroom, find a place for their kids, offer them the best seat, the best parking spot, and the last bagel. You’d engage them in conversation, ask about their kids, and do everything you could to make their time with you comfortable.
Contribute. A growing family has growing needs. We’re asking that you will find a place to serve, to help us create environments where guests feel welcomed into the family. From greeters to food service to kids workers – there’s a place for you to serve. (You can find out more about serving by going to www.storychurch.org/serve) Another way to contribute is to give. Be faithful with what God gives you. If you love this family and want to see the family grow, be faithful to give as often as you receive so that the family can continue to grow and cover the expenses necessary for a growing family. (Give online here.)
I believe we have an incredible family together, and it’s way too good a thing to keep to ourselves. Thanks for taking the time to act on this today!